With this year nearly over and done with, it’s time to start preparing for the year ahead. If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that we should always expect the unexpected, but adapting plans is only possible if you have a plan established in the first place. Here are 9 ways you can prepare for an effective job search in the new year.
1. Customise your CV for each role you apply for
It takes more work, but in the long run targeting your CV makes for a more effective job search. By being strategic with the information and wording you use on your CV, you make sure that the recruiter or employer reading it gets a good idea of how you would fit into the role you’re applying for.
2. Include relevant info
This includes removing things that are irrelevant to the role and including info you think would help market you. If you’re applying for a role in Finance, there’s no need to go into detail about your duties as a waiter ten years ago. On the other hand, if there are skills, areas of experience, and achievements you think would help you stand out, you should include them. While your CV shouldn’t be pages and pages long, there’s no need to cram it all onto one page either.
3. Cut down on buzzwords
You know the ones – things like “dynamic go-getter” or “motivated self-starter”. These phrases may look good written down, but they can seem empty and do very little to change the opinion of the person reading your CV. Instead, focus on highlighting your skills and backing them up with demonstrable examples of how you’ve utilised them in previous roles.
4. Be prepared for online interviews
With the second wave of Covid-19 hitting many countries now, companies are going to keep relying on tech to continue working safely. You should be prepared to fill out more online application forms and attend both telephonic interviews, and video interviews. For tips on how to ace a video interview, check out our previous blog post on the topic.
5. Networking online is more important than ever
Networking events in person are too high-risk at the moment, so most current networking is conducted online. Keep an eye out for online networking events hosted by professional groups and try to sign up for any courses and seminars relevant to your field. These online events are great places to meet important and useful contacts for your job search. It’s also important that your LinkedIn profile is up to date and markets you well as this is usually the first place new professional contacts will go to learn about you.
6. Make sure you’re set up to work remotely
Most companies nowadays will require you to work remotely at least some of the time, so take the opportunity during your job search to make sure that you have a steady internet connection, a reliable computer to work on, and somewhere comfortable and quiet at home to work. Being able to tell potential employers that you have a solid remote work set up will make you that much more marketable as a candidate.
Goals and Planning
1. Set goals
Having goals in place makes it easier to go for the things you’re interested in and to say no to the things you aren’t. Some good areas to set goals include:
- Relationships – who are your key relationships with and how you can improve on them?
- Goals you didn’t achieve this year – why didn’t you reach them this year and how can you achieve them next year?
- Career trajectory – where is it that you want your career path to take you?
- Career development – what are some things you can do to improve yourself in your current career?
- Achievements – what are some big things you would like to achieve this year?
2. Figure out how to achieve them
It’s not enough just to set goals – you have to have a plan in place to achieve them. Ask yourself:
- Who can assist me in achieving each goal?
- What additional info or resources do I need to achieve each goal?
- What new skills or habits do I need to develop to achieve these goals?
- What do I need to change or adapt to meet these goals?
- What barriers could there be to achieving these goals and how will I overcome them?
3. Plan rest time
Rest is important – especially after a year as stressful as 2020. Taking time to not work may seem counterintuitive to productivity, but work-related stress and burnout are a direct result of not taking enough time for rest or relaxation. Burnout can affect your relationships, productivity, and other areas of your personal life. It can also lead to long-term health complications that include becoming vulnerable to sicknesses and diseases so it’s important to make sure that you set yourself time to rest. By including time for yourself to switch off and recharge, you will be a healthier and ultimately more productive employee.
As you head into these last few days of 2020, keep your head up and don’t beat yourself up about things you didn’t achieve this year. Instead focus on the year’s positives and let that propel you into a new year full of exciting new opportunities.
Happy job hunting!